Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is either a hero or mentally deranged. The Democrats are opting for the crazy diagnosis. I believe he is a hero. Mr. Nunes received information earlier this week from a whistleblower, but not you typical whistleblower. The "normal" whistleblower takes information, usually classified, to a member of the press in order to bring attention to wrong doing or lies by the government. He or she goes outside of channels. In this regard the Nunes' whistleblower is different. This person passed classified material to a person cleared for the classified material, i.e. Nunes.
Nunes was shown information that had been withheld from the House and Senate oversight committees. His reaction upon receiving the material is telling. He clearly was shocked by the proof that intelligence reports containing the names of Trump campaign officials had been produced and disseminated to in violation of normal protocols. You simply do not put the name of a U.S. citizen in an intelligence report. It is supposed to be "minimized." In other words, masked. Our principal foreign intelligence agencies–NSA, CIA, DIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency–are supposed to collect on foreigners.
What Nunes is reporting is that some of the information that these agencies collected included the names of private American citizens and, instead of masking the names, those names were printed. Then came the leaks. While the collection of the names is described as "incidental," this was far from benign. It was deliberate–get intelligence into the public domain that would discredit Trump and put pressure on him to resign. It did not matter whether the info was true. The objective was to damage the Trump brand and create enough questions about alleged ties to Russia that he would feel pressure to resign.
I am certain of one thing–there will be more information coming out today that will buttress the claims Nunes made earlier this week. This could be the start of the worm turning and former member of the Obama intelligence community and White House staff could find themselves facing legal peril. That would shift the narrative.